Research Proposal

In the majority of cases, lateness in the workplace is associated with the occupation stress and employees’ overload with duties and responsibilities. As a proof, Beehr argues, “the self-reported job stressors, role ambiguity, role overload, role conflict, and resource inadequacy were all positively related to recorded tardiness”. However, these reasons should be taken into the deepest consideration to define other routes of lateness among the employees to define whether there are other stimuli affecting employees’ reluctance to go to work on time. The research on lateness is required because it can reveal some interesting facts and possibilities. As an example, it is possible to find out whether workers are late even though they wake up earlier, or because of the traffic jam on the road, or for some reasons.  Judging from both internal and external factors, location, social background, and personal characteristics, lateness could be regarded as a complicated variable to investigate. At the same time, this variable is indeed interesting and challenging for the researchers. In order to narrow down the focus of the research, Mark & Spencer Company has been chosen to explore lateness in the workplace as a phenomenon.  Since the organization specializes in selling cloths and footwear for men, women, and children. It is also focused on selling accessories, clothes, and other products for customers from all over the world. 

Possible Project Outline Specifications

It should be emphasized that the company strives to comply with laws and regulations of countries in which it operates. At this point, M&S employees should adhere to the policies and codes created by the company. They take responsibility for protecting the company’s reputation and following the ethical codes and behavioral patterns. Managers also encourage employees to be open-minded and creative to provide fresh insights into the development and implementation of the company’s mission and values. There is a strict hierarchy of managers, including line managers, senior managers, and their policies should be analyzed to define whether it affects employees’ readiness to challenges and their resistance to stress. The latter should be explored in more detail to find out whether it correlates with the lateness level. The in-depth overview of the company’s values and missions in relation to employees reveals that there is significant gap regarding the ethics and benefits proposed to employees. The code of ethics is more focused on establishing fruitful relationships between employees and customer to reach the maximum profitability. In this respect, lack of understanding of the importance of organizational culture could become the major reason why lateness could prevail in the workplace. 

In the light of the above-presented problems and challenges, it is necessary to explore the relation between employees’ lateness in the workplaces and other related factors, such as responsibility overload, stressful situation, or inconsistency of Code of Ethics. Employees will be informed about the purpose of the research via e-mails and via telephones to receive their informed consent. Employers will also be participating in the research to get a greater awareness of what factors negatively affect employees’ willingness to come to work early and in time. Additionally, there should also be specific surveys and questionnaires which could expand the researcher’s view on the employees’ attitude to the employed environment. Finally, face-to-face interviews should be conducted for understanding how employees and their managers perceive the working environment and what could be the potential reasons for lateness. Apart from the empirical research and observational analysis, the literature review will be conducted to define whether there is research study on the influence of internal and external factors in the lateness in the workplace. The overview of literature will expand the new paths of the research and can provide a new stance for managing further challenges related to tardiness in the workplace.

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Critical Review of Key References 

The matter of lateness in the workplace has also been researched in other studies. As such, Clark, Peters, and Tomilson have resorted to the sample of employees from the survey conducted by Employment in Britain in 1992. The scholars have estimated a generalized, zero-inflated Poisson regression framework of self-reported lateness among the employees. They have found that lateness rate is higher among male employees, particularly among private sector workers, as well as in service industries. Introducing theoretical predictions from economics and psychology, the authors have developed a model lateness as a ground of incentives, the sanctions for and monitoring of lateness in the workplaces, as well as attitudes to work, and job satisfactions. These dimensions of workplace incentives have a direct influence on lateness. At the same time, controlling these variables underscores job satisfaction as the leading framework for reducing the lateness rate. 

In order to shed light on the reasons of lateness in the workplace, the attention should be paid to the lateness behavior. In this respect, Sagie, Koslowsky, and Hamburger have dedicated their analysis of lateness behavior, considering it as the process of arriving at work when the beginning of the scheduling time has passed. In contrast to other behaviors, the scholars have argued that lateness is a milder type of negation and withdrawal because it does not always mean the breach of company’s policies. Additionally, lateness is often regarded as a volitional behavior which is often controlled by the employees. Worker dismissal is a sort of involuntary turnover, which means that there are justified reasons for absence of lateness, such as sickness or funeral attendance, which could also be presented as involuntary absence, whereas most of the lateness patterns could be avoided. Although some reasons of lateness are justified and have not been made intentionally, proper time management is still at the core of reducing tardiness even if the cause is not always controlled by the employee. 

The studies by Rogelberg, Scott, Agypt, Williams, Kello, McCausland, and Olien have been dedicated to the analysis of meetings and the cases of lateness, being a temporal behavioral pattern in business organizations. This type of organizational activity consumes a great amount of time, interrupt the general workflow. In this respect, the scholars seek to explore the question whether organizational scientists should pay attention to meeting lateness. The researchers have defined that the phenomenon has a high rate, thus affecting the entire quality of work and organizational performance, including both subjective and objective elements, as well as potential implications for relationships, groups, individuals, and organization in general. Such an approach is especially beneficial because it defines different dimensions and determinants of employee behavior. Furthermore, the scholars have proved that meeting lateness positively correlates with intention to quit, meeting satisfaction, job satisfaction, general age, and awareness. In the light of these factors, conceptual complexity and consequences and further analysis of the topic at issue. 

Liu, Li, Fan, and Nauta have worked on the workplace conflict and lateness in the light of self-evaluation both in the United States and China. In such a manner, the scholars have examined the moderating influence of self-evaluation on the connection between employees’ lateness and interpersonal conflict in the United States and China. Employee-coworker correlated with the data collected from University Employees. The dataset was composed of 204 employees from the United States and 166 employees from China. The researchers have found out that self-reported conflict in the workplace positively correlated with the lateness and absence; however, coworker-reported conflict did not relate to lateness or absence. Self-evaluation have created the link between self-conflict and employees’ absence, as well as coworker conflict and lateness. In general, it has been proved that interpersonal conflict has a direct connection to lateness for employees whose self-evaluation is low, but not for those whose self-evaluation is higher. After all, the three-dimensional analysis has shown that the effects of self-evaluation have a potent influence on the lateness concept in the United States, whereas Chinese employees are not affected by these factors.  

In general, the overview of the references prove certain common independent variables which influence lateness, such as job satisfaction, age, lack of rational distribution of responsibility, work overload and lack of consistency in the Code of Ethics. Additionally, the research studies have also revealed certain common features in terms of the nature and nsit has been defined that lateness has a volitional character, which means that it depends largely on employee’s ability to manage time properly. All these factors will be taken into consideration while conducting surveys and interviews at Mark & Spencer.

Research Question

The overview of relevant practices, concepts and theories in combination with the research objectives could create a framework within which the following question should be answered:

  1. What factors contribute to the increased rates of lateness in the workplace?
  2. Are there any lapses in M&S’s policies and Code of Ethics?
  3. What strategies could be introduced to fill in the gaps in employee management?

The above questions correlate with the research objectives and rely on the overview of the exiting theoretical concepts. In such a manner, it will also possible to develop a consistent model within which employees will be more motivated to go to work in time. 


Research Methodology

As it has been mentioned previously, this research study will be premised on a mixed method research, which includes both quantitative and qualitative dimensions of the scientific investigation. The qualitative part will involve the overview of literature in which specific variables will be investigated which affects the lateness level. Additionally, the interviewing process will also be involved to observe their attitude, perception, and behaviors. The quantitative part relates to the survey and statistics received from the interview regarding the percentage of the most frequently used responses. In combination, it should lead to the formation of the research model which will later be presented as a means of reducing the percentage of lateness in the workplace. For this research study, 25 employees and 5 managers are sufficient for understanding the issue and answering the research questions. Specifically, it is highly important to explore different model of work and cooperation, leading to employees’ higher awareness of their responsibilities.

Implementing the Research Projects

While analyzing the implementation of the research project, one should focus on the analysis of different variables that are engaged into the research process. The factors could vary since the external and internal dimensions are involved. The internal factors will include job satisfaction, Code of Ethics analysis, organizational culture and mission, and gender and age aspects. The research project will focus on employees’ attitude and perception of the lateness, as well as how they manage to fight with this problem. 

Relevant Approaches and Techniques

There are different ways of understanding how employees’ lateness could be analyzed and studies. The choice of discussions and interviews is justified because the researchers can observe emotional and psychological state of the participants, as well as define their preferences in terms of stimuli which make them go to work earlier or on time. Providing an evaluation of date through the regression models of the percentage and frequency of lateness in the workplace, it is possible to demonstrate that there is a specific role for psychological and economic factors. It should also be admitted that lateness does not response in a predictable manner to the sanctions and incentives in the workplace, but neglecting different variables, such job satisfaction, employees’ performance, gender, and behavioral patterns is not possible beaus it lead to the insufficient analysis of the determinants of a specific aspect of employees’ commitment to work. In this respect, the research suggests that employee moral should be measured and evaluated by the level of job satisfaction, which is in turn affected by organization’s mission, vision, and objectives. 

Further, the researchers should introduce different types and features of lateness. Specifically, lateness could be defined as an employees’ intentional choice because of the reluctant to take responsibilities and duties imposed on them. At the same time, lateness can also bear involuntary character, the phenomenon which is not always controlled and predicted by an employee. The lateness in this term could be presented as the one which relies on external factors. The latter, however, occurs due to the improper time management mechanism. Managers, therefore, should develop the subsequent models through which they can regulate lateness and absence of employees. Arriving late, therefore, should not be presented an employee choice because there are different approaches and methods which could reduce the lateness rate to the minimum. At the same time, the attitudes to the workplace environment are closely associated with job satisfaction. The key aspect of the regression analysis is confined to evaluating the empirical appropriateness of these methods to provide a review of each of the proposed empirical results. The current literature of lateness proves that worker’s commitment is characterized on their willingness to go to work on time. 

Apart from the psychological model of lateness, there is also the economic dimension of the concept which introduces an employee as the one who chooses a travel schedule, leading to the timely arrival at work. Arriving early, therefore, imposes specific costs in relation to forgone leisure. The cost could be higher in case employees attach more importance to leisure. In this respect, the costs on timely arrival should be congruent with the earning and motivation levels, which reduce the likelihood of dismissal.

Evaluation of the Research Outcomes for the Project

The above-presented methods and techniques should provide a comprehensive framework for estimating the potential findings. There dimensions and factors affecting benefits and costs of arrival time could be split into several categories, such as worker’s preferences, compensation structure, and job security. All these dimensions are expected to be revealed during the research since they embrace all reasons and genuine causes of lateness. To enlarge on this issue, employees’ preferences are significance because the task of the research is to find out whether leisure and working schedule are equally important to employees or not. Second, the compensation structure encountered by employees could also influence schedule choice because there should be specific wages and salaries which would later affect employees’ motivation. As an example, higher earnings could lead to employees’ willingness to take advantage of leisure time, but insufficient salary rate can be discouraging for the staff. As such, the managers should strike the balance between those two cornerstones and introduce performance-related rewards. Fines and penalties should also be introduced in case of violation of Code of Ethics and Conduct at the company. The lateness should not be connected with job security since the latter is the priority which should be guaranteed by the employees. After all, the potential motivational reward could contribute to job motivation, which in turn contributes to lateness level reduction. 

Presentation of Research Findings

The presentation of research findings will be premised on the combination of theoretical and empirical results. The theoretical aspects will rely on the overview of literature and its comparison with the interview results. The latter will be decoded and transcribed for highlighting the thematic nodes which occurred during the interview. The empirical results will rely on the surveys and questionnaires which will be composed of research questions, interview questions and interviewers’ analysis of the participants’ preferences, intonation, and overall attitude to the given research. The research findings will also create implications for future analysis and research to make sure that they have sufficient grounds for expanded research. Lateness, therefore, should not be underestimated because it produces specific strategies and recommendations for leadership and management to implement the corresponding methods and models.

The participants could also become aware of the possible shifts in their behavior, as well as their attitude to the working process in general. Furthermore, the results could also be used for improving cooperation and management among the employees. The research could also provide specific routes for improving motivation and stimuli, leading to the increase of the competitive advantage of the firm. Managers should become aware that customer relationship manager is not the only conditions for improving organization’s productivity and profitability. 

While presenting the concept of lateness and its determinants, one should not ignore the importance of workplace characteristics. As such, the emerging differences and disputes in the workplace can affect their willingness to arrive at work on time. Industrial differences and different technological process could also depend on different schedules and regimes. In this respect, the success of the organization will depend largely on manager’s ability to embrace all those challenges and make the employees realize that they should work as a singly system. Therefore, the findings should also highlight these aspects. The previous assumptions should guide this particular research to provide a sort of carcass for the researcher to rely during the research procedures. Apart from the workplace characteristics, the researchers should take into consideration monitoring and sanctions. Below is the scheme which could explain and define the concept of lateness in the workplace and can serve as a ground for M&S to improve the situation.

concept of lateness in the workplace

As it can be seen, the above table shows how leaders and managers could cope with the problem of lateness in the work place by means of warnings and notifications. However, this scheme should not be exposed directly to the employees, making them work under pressure. On the contrary, there should be an implicit form of explanation which would encourage and attract employees. Motivational stance and job satisfaction should stand at the core of the effective work and cooperation in teams. The latter is also the decisive factor because conflict of interest is also among the leading reasons for employees’ lateness and desire to quit their job. Leaders, therefore, should focus on this dimension and introduce the negotiation. 

In conclusion, lateness in the workplace could be determined by different factors. The analysis of M&S’s policies along with the overview of related literature on theories and concepts of employees’ tardiness provide the major factors of their reluctant to arrive at work in a timely manner. Specifically, it is logical that job satisfaction, stressfulness, personal background, age, overload, and specialization could have a potent impact on the effectiveness of work and timely arrival at work. 


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